Flournoy Branch Court
The Flournoy Branch court is located at 3150 W Flournoy Street in Chicago near the intersection of Harrison Street and Kedzie Avenue. There are two court rooms at this branch court location. If a person has been charged with a misdemeanor, that case will be heard in Branch 43, whereas if a person has been charged with a felony case, that matter will be heard in Branch 44. There is a free parking lot at this location.
SEXNER’S PRO LEGAL TIP: When a person has been charged with a felony case in Chicago, after a bond has been set, that case is next set for a preliminary hearing at a branch location such as Branch 44 at Flournoy. Because felony cases are much more serious than misdemeanor cases, the laws of Illinois provide for something called a preliminary hearing, which is an extra initial court proceeding which forces the prosecutor to prove to the judge that the case is worthy of proceeding to the next court location, usually to the main criminal courts building at 2650 S California in Chicago.
A preliminary hearing is like a short, miniature trial in which the prosecutor must demonstrate that there is “probably cause” for a judge to believe that a crime was committed. The State’s Attorney doesn’t need to prove that the defendant committed a crime “beyond a reasonable doubt” as is the case in a real trial. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a much higher burden of proof than “probable cause”.
Different than a real trial, a preliminary hearing is usually quite short; sometimes only a few minutes long, and the only person to testify is usually just a Chicago police officer. The rules of evidence are also different, so often times, a defendant may be shocked that their attorney didn’t seem to ask what the defendant considered to be a very important question. When that happens, it’s usually because the attorney knew that the judge would not have allowed such a question under the rules for preliminary hearings.
At the end of preliminary hearing, if the judge finds “probably cause”, that means that the case will be transferred to another room or another location for further proceedings. If the judge finds “no probable cause”, that means that the judge has decided that the prosecutor will not likely ever be able to prove this case against the defendant or that the case is far too minor to waste the time and resources of the court system. In such a situation, the case is dismissed and further proceedings are unlikely.